How will we be structured (legally)?
Both MITSA and GBSC are “non-profit” organizations and so neither pays income tax. However, MITSA is organized as a non-profit “educational” organization that allows it to receive tax-deductible donations. GBSC is organized as a “recreational” organization and cannot receive tax-deductible donations. The MITSA tax-deductible donation status has proven to be very valuable in the past - and resulted in the number of donations of major assets (including for example, the present 1-26).
The proposed form of the merger is designed to preserve and re-enforce the tax-deductible donation status of MITSA as an “educational” organization by preserving the MITSA organization for the “junior program” only. While the final details still need to be worked out, we anticipate that for all practical purposes the recreational components and memberships of the two organizations will be completely merged, but as a technical matter, the separate organization known as “MITSA” will remain intact - but devoted to the operation of the junior program - which seems undisputedly “educational”.
The merger agreement, which will provide for joint operations, transfer of memberships, transfer of some assets and similar matters, will also contain a “management agreement” whereby GBSC “manages” the junior program for MITSA. This arrangement will best preserve the tax-deductible status of MITSA and hopefully allow for future donations.
What charitable offerings would we provide to the juniors program?
The essence of the juniors program is to provide one $5 tow in exchange for each 4 hours of ground crew duty to a limited number of teenage student pilots.
Who would be in charge of the combined club?
All current GBSC officials would remain. The election process and voting eligibility standards would not change.
How do GBSC officials get elected?
All members of the combined club are eligible to vote. GBSC byelaws detailing the process were distributed via email on March 20th. Current MITSA directors have been invited to attend GBSC board meetings, and are likely to do so until the next election cycle for board members. The GBSC annual meeting and elections are held in January.
What would be the total net worth of the merged club?
Not counting cash from dues and tows GBSC and MITSA have a positive net worth of nearly $300,000.
What will be the cost of my flights?
The current GBSC rate structure is as follows:
Are there other financial considerations that may affect me?
How will I pay my bill?
The last bill you get from MITSA should be at the end of June, please remit to GBSC or MITSA as indicated on the bill. The July bill will be from GBSC. Your balance as of June 30 will be transferred to the GBSC billing system. GBSC bills all its members. Members are encouraged to keep a positive balance but it is not required. There is no rate difference for credit balances. Payment at the field is not required. There is an Email invoice system, and all members are encouraged to participate in. At the moment there is no online payment system.
Where are we going Labor Day?
Good question. We are looking at a number of possibilities, and as soon as we have some suggestions we will publish them.
Where can I get / give information about the condition and maintenance history of the GBSC fleet?
Herb Weiss is the maintenance director for the GBSC Schweitzer Gliders, and Frank Dimeo, is the Maintenance director for the GBSC Non- Schweitzer gliders. MITSA Glider maintenance will still remain the responsibility of Ian??? Each glider has a “ship captain”. If you have any “Squawks” with the gliders report them to the appropriate director, or the ship captain (http://www.soargbsc.com/fleet.htm). The latest information about the fleet can be found on the whiteboard in the GBSC clubhouse.
How do I sign up for a glider now?
When you arrive on the field, come and find the signup sheet (at the SFO’s Table). Put your name on the list for a glider. You can only sign up for one glider at a time. After your flight, you can sign up again. Private pilots are required to sign up for a tow as well. If you arrive prior to the SFO you can sign up when you push the glider down.
Are all the gliders insured?
Yes. The current insurance carrier has been contacted. Currently they are covered by the existing GBSC and MITSA insurance, as the assets change hands they will be covered under the appropriate policy. All members of GBSC are now members of MITSA, and all members of MITSA are now members of GBSC. This satisfies the insurance carrier, and we can fly each other’s ships.
Will I have to wait longer for a tow?
Two of the merger purposes are to eliminate grid shuffling and standardize procedures. The intent of both is to improve efficiency and thereby reduce launch queue wait time.
Will I still be able to get the same instruction?
Yes. You could still train in the same gliders you did before with the same instructors if you so desire.
How will we reconcile the different operating procedures?
Elected GBSC officials would standardize ropes and procedures.
How will we reconcile the different training processes?
Elected GBSC officials following club rules would set standards.
What does the club envision for sailplanes (buy? sell?), tow planes (sell 182) and trainers (sell? buy? PW6?)
It is likely we will dispose of the C182 and acquire an additional Pawnee. The latter is cheaper to acquire and according to recent experience also cheaper to operate. A date for this has not been set. Other decisions concerning the glider fleet have yet to be made. We would like to get a year of combined operation to get a good feel for the existing fleet’s utilization.
How will the merger affect tow pilots?
Initially, there will be no affect. Before the board makes a decision on the tow plane fleet configuration, they will see how it affects towing in general. As we speak, the MITSA board is surveying the current tow pilots to see how many are qualified to fly tail draggers. Qualified pilots will be scheduled to fly the other club’s tow planes.
What will the instructor methods be like? Sign offs on ships not in our club (Pilatus for example)?
As with any gliding club, approval of a club instructor is required prior to the first flight in any glider type. Current GBSC policy requires a PPL of better to fly the Pilatus, or the silver L-23. Any qualified instructor can accomplish checkouts. Please be patient when requesting checkouts, due to the large number of pilots seeking checkouts in the new aircraft. (Subject to approval from the chief instructor we may want to add: “if you are checked out in “Type” i.e. L-23 with MITSA, you do not need a checkout in the GBSC (silver) L-23). For more information on checkouts you can view the Membership Manual at http://soargbsc.com/man.pdf.
What will the field operations look like (log person, field person, safety person)?
Field operations are planned with a Senior Field Officer (SFO) who will run the grid and dictate launch order, a Field Officer (FO) who will hookup, and run wings and a third hand to keep the operations log, and greet prospects, and process intro flight paperwork, with participation of the Juniors.
What will be different when I come to the field?
The differences should be minimal. If you are flying a private ship, you should not notice any difference except the elimination of ordering gliders to match tow planes.
If you fly club ships, obviously, the number and selection of gliders will be greater. You will have to report into the SFO (MITSA’s old DO) to put your name down for a specific ship (which we do now). When you are at the top of the list, you have right of first refusal (i.e. you can defer your take-off). As before, you are limited to a one-hour flight unless special arrangements are made.
What’s all this I hear about radios?
GBSC requires that all ships towed by their planes are equipped with a radio. As we phase in the MITSA gliders into the unified fleet, we (the expanded GBSC club) will start integrating a radio solution into these gliders. Therefore, you should start getting familiar with the use of two-way aviation radios and communication protocol.
Will there be “Teething” Problems?
Yes we are expecting some teething problems. Things are not exactly the way they used to be. Please be patent as we go through this transition. It will take a while for the combined membership to get to know each other. If you see a problem on the field that cannot be resolved at the time, or you feel uncomfortable to address, we urge you to contact a MITSA or GBSC board member and report the issue. We will resolve the issue quickly.